by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA
THE fifth edition of Purple League Junior (PLJ) will feature a third division to provide a platform for more young shuttlers to hone their skills.
Malaysia Purple League (MPL) CEO Datuk Jack Koh (picture; left) said though the third division had attracted six new clubs, it will be an open platform for any young shuttlers to prove their worth.
Koh said with many former PLJ players having performed well at the World Junior Championships since PLJ’s inception in 2015, the new division is crucial to help MPL achieve its aim of creating a strong badminton base to create more greats.
The nine-team first division, which is for top juniors in South-East Asia, under-18 players from the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) and those preparing for World Junior Championships, has attracted around 17 foreign players this time.
“The second division is for all the remaining players from BJSS and state players, while in the third division we welcome any kids in Malaysia that feel they are fit, good, but felt no platform. For next year, we are planning for fourth division to go nationwide.
“We are going through a tough time in badminton now, especially when we do not have top players like Datuk Lee Chong Wei. But, we have to continuously grow the base…only with a bigger base, the top can sustain,” he said during the launch of AEON Credit Purple League Junior 2019 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
This year’s PLJ is set to start this weekend at the Sports Arena Falim in Ipoh, Perak, while the finals are scheduled for Oct 19-20 at the Sports Arena Sentosa, Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, AEON Credit MD Yuro Kisaka said young talent is a valuable resource in any industry that needs to be nurtured and deve- loped for the benefit of society.
“We believe that, through this partnership, we are able to help the young ones to unlock their potential and give them a head start in their badminton profession,” he said.
First division defending champions Bukit Cheras BC will be defending their title in a field which includes usual rivals like Ampang Jaya BC, Rawang BC, two-time champions Petaling BC and newly-promoted Amanjaya BC and Kuantan Synergy BC.